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Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating physical injuries as they frequently result in permanent, partial or complete paralysis. These injuries often affect active teenagers or young adults as a result of a variety of accidents.
Spinal cord injuries can occur at any level of the spine, from the top portion of the spine (the cervical spine), to the mid portion (thoracic spine), to the lower spine (lumbar spine). The nerves that exit at various levels of the spine send signals to the entire body, allowing us to perform our daily activities. Generally speaking, the higher the level of the spinal cord injury, the less function a person will have; people also typically lose function below their level of injury.
For example, individuals with an injury at the fifth cervical vertebrae, known as C5, may lack any sensation or movement below the nipple line or upper chest - though they may be able to move their shoulders, they will have no fine motor skills in their hands. These individuals will likely require ongoing assistance in their daily lives for basic activities such as feeding, showering and dressing.
Patients with a spinal cord injury at the fifth thoracic vertebrae, known as T5, may have full function of their hands and arms, and, while still wheelchair bound, may be able to fully care for themselves and live independently.
Spinal cord injuries frequently occur as a result of the negligence of companies, employers or other entities. While all spinal cord injuries are different, people affected by them early in life are faced with millions of dollars in costs for physicians, hospitalizations, medications and nursing care. They will also need a range of equipment, such as wheelchairs, shower chairs and handicapped accessible vans, to name a few.
Ms. Johnson has firsthand personal experience with spinal cord injuries. Two of her nephews are paralyzed and wheelchair-bound due to spinal cord injuries, and she therefore has a passion for helping individuals with disabilities.
After serving as a volunteer for the scholarship program Swim With Mike for several years - which provides education for athletes disabled through illness or injury - Ms. Johnson was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the organization. She is also a founding member of Swim With Mike's Family Resource Group, Which provides support to the families of Swim With Mike recipients.
"It's interesting, out of the biggest injuries suffered in the collective lives of our extended family has come the most significant opportunity to make a difference for others," Ms. Johnson notes.
As a registered nurse and attorney with personal experience in assisting those with severe disabilities, Ms. Johnson has the ideal education, experience and heart to represent persons with severe disabilities, including spinal cord injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury or disability from injury or illness, contact the Law Office of Jennifer R. Johnson immediately for a complementary evaluation.